VAT war worsens as S-South govs opt to join Rivers suit -GCFRNG
South-South BRACED Commission meets, governments declare offer to join Supreme Court demand on VAT
… Look for 2-point amendments to the PIA
… To soon present a joint regional security team
… Express disappointment that Buhari has not supported the relocation of the NNPC and IOC headquarters to the region
… He frowns at the impossibility of completing federal projects in South-South
… Governors of the S-West, subsequent resolution of PANDEF
The raging war over Value Added Tax, VAT in the country became more complicated yesterday when South-South governors declared their intention to join the lawsuit instituted by the Rivers and Lagos state governments against the Federal Service of Internal Taxes, FIRS.
The governors also asked the Federal Government and the National Assembly to review the unfair aspects of the Petroleum Industry Law, PIA, claiming that the amendments should include a clear definition of the host communities and that the trustees should be appointed by the governments. state.
It will be recalled that the Rivers State government, in its attempt to seize control of VAT collection in the state, won its case against FIRS in Federal High Court in Port Harcourt. The matter is currently before the Supreme Court, where the Lagos state government requested to join the case.
The VAT controversy deepened last weekend, with some northern states, Adamawa, Plateau and Kaduna, requesting to join FIRS in their appeal against the Federal High Court ruling in Port Harcourt.
South-South Governors Choose to Join Rivers’ Lawsuit
But since their meeting yesterday in Port Harcourt, the South-South governors, under the auspices of the Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Crossriver, Edo and Delta Commission, (BRACED), declared their intention to join the lawsuit of the Supreme Court for the Government of the State of Rivers demanding that the states and not the Federal Government, collect the Value Added Tax, VAT.
All BRACED governors, except Cross Rivers State Professor Ben Ayade, were present at the meeting chaired by Delta State Governor and Forum Chair Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa with Chief Nyesom Wike.
Other governors present at the meeting were Godwin Obaseki from Edo State; Udom Emmanuel from Akwa Ibom State; and Douye Diri de Bayelsa.
BRACED Commission Director General Joe Keshi was also present at the meeting.
The BRACED commission, comprising the six south-south states of Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta, is an initiative to foster integration, socio-economic and infrastructure development in the region.
In a statement read by the chairman of the South-South Governors Forum, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the region’s governors, among other pressing issues, also said they would soon reveal a joint security team.
It also called on the Federal Government to publish the report of the forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and urgently appoint a substantive board for the commission.
BRACED Commission statement
The statement read: “Considering that most of the BRACED states have established the security organs of their states, we approved a regional security architecture that will be launched very soon.
“We unequivocally support the decision that the states collect the value added tax and we resolved to join the lawsuit before the Supreme Court.
“The Council urges the President and the National Assembly to take the necessary measures to review some unfair aspects of the recently signed Petroleum Industry Law, PIA, to guarantee justice and equity.
“We urge that the amendments include a clear definition of host communities and that trustees be appointed by state governments.
“The Council urges the president and the federal government to respect the law established by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, through the proper constitution of its board.
“Furthermore, we express the hope that the federal government will release the forensic audit and treat the report fairly and equitably, with a view to strengthening NDDC’s ability to fulfill its obligation to the people of the region.
“The Council regrets that the Federal Government and the President in general have not given reasoned consideration to the requests of the region, after a dialogue with a special federal delegation, headed by Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff of the President.
“Requests include the relocation of NNPC affiliates and IOC headquarters in the Niger Delta and the completion of a number of federal projects in the region, particularly roads.”
S-West rules again S-South
In reaction to yesterday’s development, the governors of the Southwest supported their colleagues in the South-South.
Although the chairman of the Southwest Governors Forum and Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu declined to comment, a source from the Governors Forum said Southwest governors support what the South-South governors were doing.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “As the Lagos state government has requested to join the lawsuit, the Southwest is in favor of the states collecting VAT. The governors of the Southwest support it. “
Southern governments resolution on joining demand for VAT S’Court, a welcome developer – PANDEF
In its reaction, the main sociocultural organization of the South South, the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, described the resolution of the South-South Governors to join the demand for the Value Added Tax, VAT and the Supreme Court as a positive development.
PANDEF National President Chief Emmanuel Ibok Essien, speaking in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom state, said: “The governors’ resolution to join the lawsuit is a positive development. The implication is that when the Supreme Court rules, it will affect all the states that joined the lawsuit.
“If that ruling is in favor of the states, it means that automatically everyone will benefit from the court ruling.
“Those states will begin to collect VAT on their own. But if you did not join as a party in the lawsuit, you will not be a beneficiary of that court ruling, it means that now you will have to go to court again on your own.
“Therefore, PANDEF’s advice to all South-South states is to join as part of the lawsuit.